All rise for Russian Rotorcraft champs
“Russia! Russia!” rang out across the Skydive Dubai Palm Dropzone last night (December 11), as Russian helicopter pilots Alexander Zhuperin and Nikolay Burov stepped up for their Rotorcraft gold medals.
The new FAI World Air Games champions were joined on the podium by silver medallists Michal and Marcin Szamborski from Poland, and Austrians Thomas Morgenstern and Stefan Seer, there to claim bronze.
The Rotorcraft event is made up of parallel fender and parallel slalom competitions designed to test the pilots' skills across the board.
“All the pilots taking part had a very high level, so it was not an easy competition to win,” Burov said. “We are really happy to have come out on top.”
Team Poland was also out in force to congratulate the Szamborski brothers, who received red roses from their teammates to go with their silver medals.
“Surprised!” Marcin Szamborski said modestly, when asked how he felt about finishing in second place.
“We knew that the gold medal was out of our reach, but we had a secret dream about winning silver – and now our dream has come true.”
Austrian team members, former Olympic ski jumper Thomas Morgenstern and his teammate Stefan Seer, both wore traditional lederhosen to collect their bronze medals.
"The pressure is off now," a euphoric Seer said. “Our mission is complete.”
The medal ceremony concluded with the presentation of gifts from the Russian delegation for director of the FAI World Air Games, His Excellency Yousif Hassan Al Hammadi.
For full results of all the FAI World Air Games events, check the Live Scoring on the World Air Games Dubai website.
By Jess Bown
Photos: FAI Media Team
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